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Lake Burley Griffin

A single rower on Lake Burley Griffin as the sun rises.

Lake Burley Griffin is Canberra's centrepiece and a significant number of national institutions, parks and national public places are located on or near its shores.

The Lake and surrounding areas are popular for a wide range of boating and other recreational activities. There are lovely parks for picnics and areas for swimming as well as walking tracks and cycling paths. The Lake is a busy waterway with rowing, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, dragon boating, fishing, model boating and stand up paddle boarding being just some of the activities available. There are a number of clubs and associations organising activities on and around the Lake.

Around the Lake there are many services available including kayak and stand up paddle board hire, Lake cruises and ferry services. There are also parks, cafés and restaurants around the Lake where you can relax and take in the view.

Lake Burley Griffin Areas

  • Central Basin
  • West Basin
  • East Basin
  • West Lake
  • Tarcoola Reach
  • Yarramundi Reach

Swimming Beaches

Lake Burley Griffin has three designated swimming beaches and enclosures. These are at:

  • Yarralumla Beach (West Lake);
  • Weston Park East (Tarcoola Reach); and
  • Black Mountain Beach (Tarcoola Reach).

The water quality in these areas and six other locations around the Lake is monitored and tested each week during the summer recreational season (mid October to mid April). By visiting www.theswimguide.org or downloading the free Swim Guide app, the closest monitored beaches and water ways will be displayed, showing the water quality conditions and amenities provided at that location. Sites around Lake Burley Griffin are available now with 22 sites monitored by the ACT Government to be added in the near future.

The Swim Guide currently has six countries providing water quality information for over 7,000 locations.

Other Popular Recreational Areas

Lake Burley Griffin offers many areas popular with other forms of recreational use.

East Basin

This area is popular with rowers, wind surfers, dragon boating and stand up paddle boards.

Central Basin

This area is a wonderful sight during the balloon festival (March). You will often see rowers training in the early mornings, while the small yachts enjoy passing under the spray of the Captain Cook Memorial Jet in the afternoons.

Triathlons are often held here.

West Basin

This area has the triathlon swimming training course. The Paddle Steamer PS Enterprise is docked at the jetty near the National Museum of Australia.

West Lake

This is the largest expanse of water in Lake Burley Griffin. The Canberra Yacht Club and dragon boats are situated on the southern shore, adjacent to Lotus Bay. Kayaks and stand up paddle boards can be hired at Yarralumla Bay. Yarralumla Bay is also a busy rowing hub.

Tarcoola Reach

A busy stretch of water with rowers and other paddle craft moving to and from Yarramundi Reach.

Yarramundi Reach

Designated rowing lanes are located here. These are used for training as well as local and national rowing regattas.